Happy Holidays: Mom Annette Marie

Listen To The Audio Version Of This Message

To My Dear Adopted Holiday Child,

For many people, this is a tough time of year. The parties, gift exchanges, ever-present holiday music, and get-togethers with family and friends can all seem festive, but inside it is really easy to feel alone. Please know that I, as your Adopted Holiday Mom, recognize that as a member of the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, or questioning community, this time of year can be especially trying for you . . . for many, many reasons. What I want you to see is that you are not really alone in your aloneness because you have me and all of the other moms who are posting on this blog. You see, in addition to having a transgender daughter and a bisexual daughter, I have many friends in your community. I have also met many wonderful people along the way, such as Christie, who I met four years ago when I was in Trinidad with my daughter for one of her surgeries. Christie, a trans-woman, came out to her family when she was just 18 and was immediately told to leave her home. For six years, she had been living in homeless shelters and on friends’ sofas, and for six years, she had finally been able to be her true self. Whether or not her parents accepted her, she was Christie. She dressed like Christie, talked like Christie, loved like Christie, and laughed like her too. I have kept a special place in my heart for Christie ever since. She will always be with me, and so will you.  

For some of you, this time of year might bring sadness because of your family’s inability to accept your sexual orientation, so you have to be without your true love as you gather with the people who supposedly love you more than anyone else. Or, your employer may not allow you to bring, or you may not feel comfortable bringing, your partner to your holiday party at work, so you have to go alone. You and I know this is incredibly demeaning and invalidates how you feel. If the straight employees can bring their partners, why, oh why, can’t you bring the person you love? This season, when you are driving alone to whatever gathering you attend, just imagine that you are coming to my house, instead of where you are actually going. I can’t wait to see you, and when you arrive, I will anxiously greet you at my door with a big hug and tell you how happy I am to see you! Looking in my eyes, you can see how proud I am of you for the strength you show each and every day.  I know it is so incredibly hard living in a world that treats you like your love doesn’t count, that you don’t feel the same way everyone else feels. But, you and I know this isn’t true. We know you love your partner and want more than anything else to be able to share that love openly. Think of me as you reach for that holiday cookie or glass of punch. We are there together.

If you are trans, you may be feeling down because you can’t come out, and you are getting so weary of always hiding the real you. You may have to get all dressed up in a fancy dress that couldn’t be farther from who you truly are, and you’re tired of hoping for the day that you wake up in the body you know really belongs to you, not the one you have. Pretending to like the football jersey you find under the holiday tree, when all you really want is a handbag filled with make-up and brushes, gets pretty old. Please remember that there are lots and lots of people out here who understand and appreciate your feelings. They accept you for who you really are! I accept you for who you really are! Your gender identity is real, and you were born with a body that does not match the rest of you. And, you know, I honestly can see the real, beautiful you that is inside. And I want you to take just a moment today to stand in front of your mirror, look yourself in the eye, and see how special you are. Feel my hug as I tell you how proud I am of you for being so brave and never giving up.

As my Adopted Holiday Child, I will think of you each day during this holiday season, and wish for you love, happiness, and the knowledge that someone sincerely cares about you and how you feel. There is no one in the world exactly like you, you are enough just the way you are, and you are loved. Most importantly, you are not alone.

All my love,

Annette Marie



  1. Jude says:

    My mom tried to kick me out when I came out as trans…so I’ve been hiding who I am with the fear of losing my home for over a year. I tried to kill myself over the holiday season once, and haven’t enjoyed it since. You have given me much hope and much love. Thank you. You are a beautiful person.

  2. Nick says:

    You are truly a wonderful person and a great mom. I would like nothing more than for the presents under the family tree to say “Nick” on them this year. But now you’ve helped to give me so much more. It’s wonderful to know that I can be thought of as a son by someone and cared for. Thank you.

  3. Brandon says:

    Thank you so so much for this. It’s exactly what I needed to hear. I’m so dreading coming out to my family as trans. But I’m also so sick of hiding it. My parents aren’t exactly open minded but we’ve always been close. The idea of losing that is terrifying. So yea, this message helped. A lot. You are amazing. Thank you. I love you.

    • Annette Marie says:

      Brandon, I understand how draining it is to continue hiding. My daughter hid it from me and my husband for years because she was afraid she would disappoint us. In reality, we are not even close to being disappointed – we are so very, very proud of her!! When she first came out, my husband and I had to educate ourselves and that took a bit of time. If you have always been close to your parents, I completely get that the thought of losing them is terrifying. I will be thinking of you – I truly admire your courage! Much love to you!

  4. Ezra says:

    As a transman going through his first holidays alone without his family…..thank you. Words can’t express how much it means to hear this type of validation from someone, especially since this is something that my own family cannot accept. I just cried at my computer screen- which is significant because all of this has hurt too much for me to even let myself cry about this. Thank you, thank you- I’ll be saving this letter on my desktop whenever I’m feeling down this season 🙂

  5. Lili says:

    Thanks so much for this letter, my parents don’t know or understand most of my gender identity and sexual orientation and hearing such kind words from a mom who understands made me cry. Thank you. I don’t fit into the boxes society cuts for us and I want to be okay with that someday.

  6. Jesse says:

    I’m crying so much. Thank you. I’m trans, and every day I feel like there’s no place for me in the world, and nobody will ever want to love me because they could have “the real thing.” It means so much to hear your unconditional love. I wish I could talk to you.

    • Shamama says:

      So glad you feel loved here Jesse! While we can’t offer more than a message here (ah, the limitations of such a project!), please know you are with us in spirit, and we are with you! Lots more moms to come as well. HUGS to you! Shamama

    • Annette Marie says:

      Jesse, there IS a place for you in this world!! My daughter has experienced the very same feelings, but I tell her – as I am telling you now, is was not a “mistake” that you were born this way. Trans individuals are INCREDIBLY special because they see things in a very unique way. You can add so much good to this world by just being yourself! Please understand that truly, there is no one else like you and you are important to all of us! You ARE the real thing, sweetie, and I believe in YOU!!

  7. Jay says:

    my mom doesnt understand the whole transgender situation with me….

    but this letter was so wonderful. Thank you so very much


  8. Arden M. says:

    This was wonderful to hear! Thank you so much; I feel a bit more secure knowing that there are others out there who care about us.

  9. Diana says:

    Thank you, for just being mom!!! You brought tears to my eyes, and I hope you know, you are… a very special soul!!! )))HUGS(((

  10. Jace says:

    this brought tears too my eyes…im a transman… and this means SO much to me.. I wish i could talk to you

    • Annette Marie says:

      It makes me so happy to know that my letter helps you, Jace. I totally understand what you have gone through, and I know every day takes a lot of courage. I am so very proud of you!!

Leave a Reply